Daniel Howes | Michigan Radio

Daniel Howes

college building exterior
Marygrove College

Marygrove College is folding, three years after its financial crisis became undeniable.

One of the anchors used to hold Line 5 in place under the Straits of Mackinac.
Screen shot of a Ballard Marine inspection video / Enbridge Energy


Today on Stateside, prosecutors say they are dismissing all charges against eight people charged in connection to the Flint water crisis and starting the investigation from scratch. Plus, how autonomous "smart ships" could be part of the future of commerce and research on the Great Lakes. 


Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler’s deal of the decade is dead.

Good ol’ French politics killed it this week – exactly what you get when the federal government in Paris controls 15 percent of the hometown Renault.

Kevin Cronin

Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer says that Benton Harbor Area Schools have until June 14 to submit a plan to keep their high school open. If not, the state could choose to dissolve the entire district. Plus, Northern Michigan University is working to provide affordable Internet access to students in need. 

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Public education in Michigan is facing a crisis ever bit as threatening to its future as the bankruptcies of Detroit and two of its automakers.

And remedies to fix the deepening problems may prove even more difficult.

a gas pump
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio


Today on Stateside, we talk to Governor Gretchen Whitmer about how the challenges her plan to "fix the damn roads" faces in the Legislature. Plus, we learn about Aldo Leopold, a father of wildlife ecology, and his connection to Les Cheneaux Islands in Lake Huron.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Detroit’s first new auto plant in nearly 30 years is a go.

Fiat Chrysler will invest some $2.5 billion to upgrade its Jefferson North assembly and convert a nearby site into a second Jeep Grand Cherokee plant. The upshot: nearly 5,000 new jobs paying an average annual wage of $58,000 in one of the nation’s poorest major cities.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

President Donald Trump’s escalating trade war with China is exposing an inconvenient truth for Detroit’s automakers. Their bet on the world’s largest market may need a rethink.

A stack of old letters.
Andrys / Pixabay

Today on Stateside, Right to Life of Michigan has a plan to work around Governor Whitmer's promised veto of controversial abortion bills recently passed by the state House and Senate. Plus, we talk to Joshua Johnson of NPR’s 1A, who’s been broadcasting from Michigan Radio this week.

farm field

Today on Stateside, the fate of auto insurance reform in Michigan hangs in the balance as the state's Democratic governor and GOP-controlled Legislature take different stances on the issue. Plus, Iraqi-American comedian Abdallah Jasim talks about navigating cultural differences through comedy. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

It’s by now undeniable that President Donald Trump expects to get his way – all the time.

So imagine the surprise in the White House this week when the Wall Street Journal carried an op-ed from the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Detroit’s gleaming new Little Caesars Arena is a hot venue in a reviving downtown. But the surrounding district is controversial because the Ilitch family has yet to deliver the vision it promised.

two cars in a rear ending accident
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio


Today on Stateside, Governor Whitmer orders an audit of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association after it hikes the yearly fee on auto insurance policies by 15 percent. Plus, we explore two important pieces of our state's African-American history housed at the Library of Michigan.

Woman getting a shot
Centers for Disease Control

Today on Stateside, Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes updates us on the results of the UAW's recent Special Bargaining Convention. Plus, a conversation with a public health expert on the dangers that falling vaccination rates pose to communities around Michigan. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Map of 1,4-dioxane plume in Ann Arbor.
Scio Residents for Safe Water

Today on Stateside, Ann Arbor officials announced last week that trace amounts of a chemical known as 1,4-dioxane had been found in the city's drinking water for the first time. So, what does that mean for residents? Plus, if you feel like popular songs aren't as happy as they used to be, a new study says you're right. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

The last time Detroit got a new auto plant, Papa Bush was in the White House and Detroit’s real reckoning was years away. In the nearly 30 years since, Ford Motor mortgaged the Blue Oval to survive Detroit’s two other automakers collapsed into federally induced bankruptcy, and all three found profitability.

Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
User: fiatontheweb / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, the co-sponsor of a gun safety bill introduced in the Michigan House explains what his proposed legislation would do to address gun violence. Plus, how a Grand Rapids conference is helping people love and accept their bodies exactly as they are. 

John Dingell, 29, is sworn in as a member of Congress in 1955 by House Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas
John Dingell website

John Dingell died the same day the “Green New Deal” appeared in Washington. Michigan’s legendary congressman would not have approved.

This driving force behind the Clean Air, Medicare and Affordable Care acts was notoriously suspicious of what he called the, quote, “damn enviros” and their idealized prescriptions for the economy. They, in return, pretty much hated Dingell, considering him too cozy with Detroit’s automakers and their union members.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Generous Motors is officially gone.

The automaker’s plan to idle and try to close five North American plants is hurtling toward a Titanic battle over the direction of Detroit’s auto industry.

Two sides with totally opposed views of the market today where technology is heading and how it will affect jobs and investment will play out this year  the most consequential since the auto bankruptcies a decade ago.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Remember Foxconn Technology Group?

It was eyeing an investment in Michigan to the tune of $10 billion, but it ended up in Wisconsin. And it turns out that may be a good thing.

The Taiwan-based contract manufacturer now is reversing its promise to employ thousands of blue-collar workers making liquid-crystal displays outside Milwaukee.

President Donald Trump touted the deal nearly two years ago at the White House, on Twitter and in remarks calling it “the eighth wonder of the world.”

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

It didn’t take long.

Just a few weeks after Democrats gained a 6-2 majority on Michigan State’s board of trustees, interim President John Engler is out. Exactly what you’d expect for the former Republican governor … especially after he handed his overseers yet one more rhetorical club to wield against him.

Namely, his own words.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Thirty years after the Detroit’s auto dealers rebranded its hometown auto show as “international,” the era is over.

No more tramping through the snow braving biting winds listening to complaints about coming to the Motor City in January. After this year, the North American International Auto Show will take place June and it’ll be reimagined around hands-on experience and advanced technology.

Person blowing vape cloud

Today on Stateside, Michigan’s Interim State School Superintendent explains why she’s opposed to an A-though-F grading systems meant to evaluate state schools passed by the lame-duck legislature in December. Plus, a researcher breaks down the “epidemic” of teen vaping and how e-cigarette use can affect brain development in young people. 

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Happy New Year, folks. Detroit’s three automakers are heading for their most tumultuous year since two of them emerged from bankruptcy a decade ago.

Expect confrontation and radical change. The auto bosses charged with navigating their industry’s greatest transformation since Henry Ford’s moving assembly line are set for a clash with the industry’s paternalistic tradition, and its implied obligation to, quote, “the people.”

Gov. Rick Snyder

Less than two weeks from now, Rick Snyder will be just another former Michigan governor.

He says he’ll return to a vague future that could include advising start-ups and doing a little teaching at his alma mater in Ann Arbor. From there, he’ll have a front-row seat to watch his successor, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, and her allies try to overturn the worst aspects of his tenure as they see them, anyway.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

It must be good to be Dr. Eden Wells. She’s Michigan’s chief medical executive.

Just days before a judge ordered her to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the Flint water crisis, she got a new government gig. The job is newly created and posted for all of six days, and get this, she was the only applicant.

Russell Kirk
Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0


Today, Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti joined Stateside to react to a lame-duck bill that would create a statewide A-F grading system for Michigan schools. Plus, what would Michigan native Russell Kirk, a founder of American conservatism, think of the ideology today? 

“This is colonialism”: Detroit schools chief blasts lame-duck A-F grading plan  


Daniel Howes / Detroit News

With apologies to Mark Twain, reports heralding the death of auto production in Detroit are exaggerated.

Marijuana plants
Flickr user A7nubis / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As of today, Michigan is the first state in the midwest to allow recreational use of marijuana. What changes can we expect? Plus, we hear music that prisoners at Auschwitz concentration camp arranged and performed for their Nazi captors. 

Howes: GM Drops Bomb

Dec 1, 2018
Daniel Howes / Detroit News

The president came to office promising to bring auto jobs home to Michigan and Ohio. And it looked like he’d be the Detroit industry’s best friend in decades.

It’s not exactly working out that way.

General Motors’ plan to end production at four U.S. plants next year … to imperil 3,300 hourly jobs … to cut 6,000 salaried employees elicited a fit of twitter rage from the commander in chief.

With apologies to King Canute who believed he, alone, could command the oceans, the president is learning he, alone, can’t command the auto industry.

On day one, Trump threatened to revoke electric-vehicle credits, even though he probably can’t. Then he threatened import tariffs on foreign-made cars, presumably including the Buick SUVs that GM makes in China and the sedans it mints in Canada.

On the third day, he used Twitter again to deflect blame for GM’s decision, saying his tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum aren’t the problem. “The USA is booming,” Trump wrote, quote, “Auto companies are pouring into the U.S.”

Except they aren’t. No, BMW isn’t building a second plant down South, as he reported. It’s thinking about it, in part as a hedge against presidential brow-beating. No, tariffs don’t help a Detroit auto industry greased by foreign parts and some production. They increase cost, decrease certainty and force CEOs to make hard calls. Or none at all.

That’s the thing about policy, Mr. President. It has consequences. And as much as Trump wants to shirk responsibility for at least some of the headwinds buffeting the industry, he can’t.

This isn't what candidate Trump envisioned when he barnstormed the industrial Midwest two years ago promising the return of auto jobs. Or when he vowed that tariffs on foreign steel, aluminum, even imported cars and trucks, would restore the Arsenal of Democracy to its former glory.

Ain't working out that way. The short-term pain of tariffs is plain for all to see. The long-term gain? Not so much.

GM has its own problems, legacies of its past. Too much excess plant capacity … and too many plants building traditional cars consumers don’t want. By its own admission, GM’s cash-flow generation is too meager … and its engineering staff is not optimized for the techy tasks ahead. None of that, it should be said, is Trump’s fault.

It’s GM’s. After American taxpayers fronted billions of their dollars a decade ago to keep The General afloat, it shouldn’t be at all surprising that critics are howling about GM’s responsibility to its people, its communities and the country. And as this restructuring unspools next year … and the fates of those four plants is decided in talks with the United Auto Workers … the howling will continue.

History can’t be erased that easily. A few years back, GM CEO Mary Barra asked me when people would start believing the new GM is for real. When it can prove its mettle to manage tough times and well as this long run of good times.